Votre navigateur ne supporte pas le javascript Wallonia & Brussels against COVID-19 - FNRS


Jérôme Schruyers, Researcher - Alexandre Léonard, Research logistician - Carlos Mendoza, Postdoc - Cédric Wolfs, PhD student- Vaios Stergiopoulos, Postdoc - Stéphanie Lambert, FNRS Senior Research Associate, Deputy Associate Professor - Fabien Deschamps,

Chemical Engineering ULiège & CRM Group - FNRS
" The Chemical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the University of Liège has been producing protective visors by 3D printing since April 4 and provides various hospital services (CHU, Citadelle, Bois de l'Abbaye), rest homes, associations and health care practices. A team of members of the Department has been set up to ensure 24-hour production, which means that up to 90 visors can now be produced per day depending on demand. As the days go by, production optimization continues to lighten components, produce faster and reduce the amount of raw material needed. The Department also receives visor supports produced by 3D printing by people from the Metallurgical Research Centre (CRM), a privileged partner of the Faculty, in order to equip them with plastic sheets to produce visors. This equipment is then distributed with the rest of the production from Chemical Engineering. The milestone of 1000 visors...

Luc Willems, FNRS Research Director

ULiège - FNRS - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" Massive infiltration of activated macrophages is associated with the development of a cytokine storm that leads to severe acute respiratory syndrome induced by SARS-CoV-2. Based on our results demonstrating the key role exerted by epigenetic regulation in the activity of macrophages, we propose to study the methyltransferase EZH2 in the pathogenesis induced by SARS-CoV-2. We have also shown that the PD-1 immune checkpoint is responsible for the macrophage anergy induced by the absence of EZH2. The goal of the project is to temper the excessive inflammatory responses associated with macrophages by interfering on the EZH2-PD-1 axis. "
Funding: Decision pending (FNRS Crédit Urgent de Recherche 40002642)
Publication References: - Inhibition of EZH2 methyltransferase decreases immunoediting of mesothelioma cells by autologous macrophages through a PD-1-dependent mechanism. Malik Hamaidia, Hélène Gazon, Clotilde Hoyos, Gabriela...

Marianne Rooman, FNRS Research Director - Fabrizio Pucci, FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher

" Computational analysis of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the renin-angiotensin system. "
Funding: FNRS
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

O. Vandenberg, Pr. - N. Clumeck, Pr. - C. Montesinos, Pr. - N. Dauby, MD, PhD - C. Gilles, MD - C. Martin, MD - S. Van den Wijngaert, MD - A. Marchant, Pr. - D. Martiny, Pr. - S. De Wit, Pr.

LHUB-ULB - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" "The purpose of this study is to map the healthcare workers exposure risk in Saint-Pierre University Hospital by combining molecular methods with serological assays. In summary, the short-term objective is threefold: (1) Provide an estimate of the sero-prevalence at baseline among high-risk health care workers (2) Determine prospectively the incidence of new SARS-CoV-2 infections among high-risk health care workers (3) Estimate the healthcare worker exposure to the virus by serological data to help our five partner hospitals in their day-to-day management of the ongoing pandemic The mid-term objectives are: (1) Establish an accurate mapping of the spread of the virus among our population allowing to identify the chain of transmission, (2) Identify predictive immunological markers of susceptibility to infection and disease severity to inform vaccine strategies and, (3) Establish solid diagnosis algorithm that will help adequate lockdown...

Olivier Luminet, FNRS Research Director - Emilie Banse, Master student - Alix Bigot, Master student

UCLouvain - FNRS
" We investigated the respective role of socio-demographic, cognitive, and emotional factors that can facilitate or impair three health behaviors recommended to limit the spreading of the covid19 pandemic (hand-washing, limitation of public transports' use and limitation of social contacts) "
Funding: No funding
Publication References: summary to be published in special issue of LouvainMedical Full report to be submitted in health psychology journal
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Patrice Cani, FNRS Senior Research Associate - Leïla Belkhir, PhD - Jean Ruelle, PhD - Julien De Greef, MD- Benoit Kabamba, PhD - Vincent Haufroid, PhD - Laure Elens, PhD - Jean Cyr Yombi, MD

Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, UCLouvain
" The objective of our project is to describe the nasopharyngeal (NP) microbiota and virome of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients at diagnosis through unbiased nextgeneration sequencing analysis and to correlate microbiota and virome profile with COVID-19 infectious phenotype. At a second stage of our project, provided additional findings are raised, those data will be enriched by NP transcriptome analysis of infected patients, and background genomic determination. Integration of those data and analysis through systems biology approach will enable better understanding of multidirectional host-pathogen interactions. "
Funding: FNRS CUR requested. Additional funding will be requested for further steps.
Contact: Pr L.Belkhir This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 02/7642198 --- Pr P.Cani This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ph. DELVENNE, FNRS Research Director / Chef de service Anatomie pathologique - J. GUIOT, Chef de clinique Pneumologie - L. RENAUD, Chef de service Pneumologie - M. MOUTSCHEN, Chef de service Infectiologie- B. MISSET, Chef de service Soins Intensifs

ULiège, CHU - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" Nous faisons face à une pandémie d'infection COVID-19. Ce virus pathogène est source de complications pulmonaires aggravant fortement le pronostic de nos patients. De nos jours, tant les mécanismes physiopathologiques en cause que les marqueurs de sévérité de l'atteinte restent indéterminés. Il apparaît donc comme urgent de pouvoir identifier des marqueurs diagnostiques, pronostiques et prédictifs pour nos patients. Dans ce contexte, plusieurs voies rapidement explorables nous apparaissent comme critiques. Le but final de cette étude est de contribuer à une prise en charge plus ciblée des patients porteurs d'une infection au SRAS-Cov-2. "
Funding: Fonds Léon Frederic
Publication References: Dix publications représentatives : 1) Prevention of murine radiogenic thymic lymphomas by tumor necrosis factor or by marrow grafting. HUMBLET C, GREIMERS R, DELVENNE P, DEMAN J, BONIVER J, DEFRESNE MP. J Natl Cancer Inst 88 (1996), 824-831. IF...

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Philippe PEIGNEUX, Professor - Peter SIMOR, Postdoc IF-ULB - Rebeca SIFUENTES, Aspirant FNRS - Ariadna ALBAJARA SAENZ, postdoctoral researcher

ULB, UR2NF - Neuropsychology and Functional Neuroimaging Research Unit affiliated at CRCN - Center for Research in Cognition and Neurosciences and UNI - ULB Neurosciences Institute - FNRS - Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium
" The aim of the study is to examine day-to-day associations between subjective sleep quality and daytime functioning during the large-scale confinement measures taken in Belgium given the current Covid-19 pandemic in Europe. In particular, we are interested in assessing the interplay between altered patterns of sleep timing, duration and quality, and daytime behaviour, cognition, and affect for 2 weeks during the confinement period. Longitudinal data are obtained in Belgium, Hungary and Spain "
Funding: internal resources
Publication References: ongoing project
Contact: Project : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Peter Simor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Philippe Peigneux : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pierre CLOSE, FNRS Research Associate - Francesca RAPINO, Doctor

GIGA-Institute, ULiège - FNRS
" In this project, we study the epitranscriptomic regulation of the SARS-CoV-2. Based on analyses of the viral genome, we investigate the cellular machineries required for the viral replicative cycle. Our goal is to identify possible viral vulnerabilities that can be exploited for the development of innovative anti-viral therapeutic strategies. We investigate possible new therapeutic opportunities based on the analyses of the viral genomic organization and evolution. We speculate that specific cellular machineries are needed to support the viral replicative cycle. Our goal is uncover new antiviral therapeutic strategies based on the viral epitranscriptomic regulation, mRNA translation and protein expression. "
Publication References: Rapino F, Delaunay S, Rambow F, Zhou Z, Tharun L, De Tullio P, Sin O, Shostak, Schmitz S, Piepers J, Ghesquière B, Karim L, Charloteaux B, Jamart D, Florin A, Lambert C, Rorive A, Jerusalem G...

Simon Dellicour, FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher

" Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of genomic sequences of the causative virus (SARS-CoV-2) have been publicly released. The resulting volume of available genetic data presents a unique opportunity to gain real-time insights into the pandemic, but also a daunting computational hurdle if analysed with gold-standard phylogeographic methods. We here describe and apply an analytical pipeline that is a compromise between fast and rigorous analytical steps. As a proof of concept, we focus on Belgium, one of the countries with the highest spatial density of sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes. At the global scale, our analyses confirm the importance of external introduction events in establishing transmission chains in the country. At the country scale, our spatially-explicit phylogeographic analyses highlight an impact of the national lockdown of mid-March on both the long-distance dispersal events and the dispersal velocity of viral lineages. Our...

Sofia Morra, FNRS Research Fellow

ULB, Hôpital Erasme - FNRS
Lung injury, endothelial dysfunction and the role of RAAS during SARS-CoV-2 invection. " The first case of a person infected with SARS-Cov-2 virus can be tracked back on November the 17th, 2019, in China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. On April 13, COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories worldwide, about 2 million positive cases have been officially declared along with 115.000 deaths. The real number of infected and deaths is scarily higher, considering that up to 65% people are asymptomatic and thus, not tested. The percentage of patients with COVID-19 needed for intensive care unit (ICU) varied from 5 to 32% in Wuhan, China. It was up to 9% in Lombardy, Italy. According to available data from Lombardy, 99% of patients admitted to the ICU needed respiratory support (88% invasive ventilation, 11% non invasive ventilation). In this unprecedented time, while SARS-Cov-2 virus is halting...

Sophie Vanwambeke, Professor - Catherine Linard, Professor - Marius Gilbert, FNRS Senior Research Associate - Simon Dellicour, FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher

ULB, UCLouvain, UNamur - FNRS
" Since early March, we have monitored spatial features of the epidemic, and various possible spatial determinants of its progression, including demographic, socio-economic and environmental indicators. We are also investigating the predictive and explanatory value of various indicators of mobility. Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic in Belgium, we observed strong spatial patterns in the disease case incidence. Before confinement measures came into effect mid-March, spatial predictors such as population density, as expected, were correlated to incidence. After the confinement came into effect, many such predictors no longer affected recorded incidence. We have assembled a rich database of demographic, socio-economic, and environmental indicators at the municipality level to identify spatial correlates of disease transmission. These are expected to differ pre- and through confinement, and to change further after confinement. We are also working...

Souad Rahmouni, Doctor

GIGA-Institute, ULiège - FNRS - Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium
" The main objective of our research program is the identification of human genetic factors impacting the COVID19 pandemic. Within the COVID-19 host genetics initiative (https://www.covid19hg.org/), we will establish a shared set of phenotypes to be combined with genomic data for standard GWAS and further meta-analysis. Field of expertise of our laboratory : genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, immune-response related diseases. In addition, the GIGA Institute is an interdisciplinary research institute from the ULiege devoted to academic excellence in the biomedical sciences to foster ground-breaking medical innovation. It comprises 583 members attached to six faculties (Medicine, Science, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Agbiotech, Psychology) that are organized in four disease-based (neuroscience, cancer, infection-inflammation-immunity, cardiovascular) and two method-based thematic units...

Thérèse Van Durme, FNRS Research Associate

UCLouvain - FNRS
" Background Primary care is considered to be an essential component of the health system towards the Quadruple aim (improved health outcomes for people, care processes, efficiency and provider work life). In French-speaking Belgium Primary care is poorly structured. The current Covid-19 epidemic acts as a revealer for the strenghts and weaknesses of primary care. The main research question is: what can we learn about the structuration of primary care, its strenghts and weaknesses, in the context of the current epidemic? We use a qualitative research design. The investigated population si primary care providers (GPs, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists) who are representing their profession, while having a clinical activity. We hold weekly semi-structured interviews with 10 different profiles of providers while the crisis lasts. We use the systematic reporting of critical events, as perceived by the interviewees, as an entry point...

Vincent Raussens, FNRS Senior Research Associate - Ivan Jabin, Doctor - Gilles Bruylants, Doctor - Pascale Blond

" Germanium is widely used for attenuated total reflection (ATR) Fourier infrared transform spectroscopy (FTIR). We developed a simple way using calixarenes to functionalize these Ge surfaces and transform them in high quality and sensitive biosensors. The detection being done by ATR-FTIR allows the high sensitivity but also can quantify different molecular species in a mixture as well as their different secondary structures, both being extremely important for epidemiology study (it has been demonstrated that FTIR can discriminate different Ig proteins in a mixture). The recording of the spectra takes only few seconds and their analysis can be easily automatized. Furthermore, our laboratory is equipped for rapid and high-throughput analysis (fabrication of protein micro-arrays, infrared microscope able to record hundreds of spectra simultaneously, …). This new generation of biosensor has also the great advantage of being extremely stable and recyclable . All these...

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19